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  • Betty Girardeau

Sunday Memories...Maybe


I have always loved visiting historic places. I am particularly drawn to old abandoned buildings and church yards. I have a strong desire to reach back in time and connect with those who used to people these places. What were their hopes, dreams, joys, fears? I can mentally people the picture above with a young family sitting on the hard wooden bench. After their weekly baths the night before, they are wearing their Sunday best. The parents have wisely placed themselves on the pew to separate the children who will likely become bored and restless, especially during the long sermon. I can imagine the children swinging their legs, sometimes even kicking the back of the pew in front of them. One of the little boys is intently watching a ladybug crawling around on the window glass. This distraction prevents him from realizing that at the moment he should have his head bowed in prayer. The young mother, now expecting another child, remembers with sadness the little grave of her first born in the church yard beyond the window and prays for the safety of herself, her unborn and living children, and her husband. The father is praying that the harvest will be good this year and that he will be able to continue to provide for his growing family. His brother has not done as well. He doesn't like farming, and will be leaving soon to go west in search of his fortune. Will he succeed? Will he ever see his brother again in this life? The sermon has ended and the minister announces the final hymn. Everyone stands and sings lustily. The children are eagerly looking forward to getting outside and running around with their friends. The mother will soon be joining the other women to help set up lunch on the grounds. The father is looking forward to getting with the other men and comparing notes on how the crops are coming along. By mid-afternoon they say their good-byes to their friends and neighbors and head home. Because the preacher is a traveling one, it will be another month before they will all gather together at church again.

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